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16 October 2014
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WWII - US 654th Battalion at the Argory, Co. Armagh

In the coach house at The Argory in Co Armagh, there were still preserved 'graffiti' which had been painted on the walls by US soldiers over sixty years ago.

Argory 654 Battalion Emblems

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Article by Bob Crookes

We have been contacted by a visitor to this site asking if we were aware that, in the coach house at The Argory in Co Armagh, there were still preserved 'graffiti' which had been painted on the walls by US soldiers over sixty years ago.

Derek Forshaw, Property Manager, at The Argory kindly opened up the coach house for us and there, as you see below, were signs painted on the wall probably denoting spaces where unit stores were to be stacked.

Hand painted emblems of the US Platoons billeted at the Argory during WWII
Hand painted emblems of the US Platoons billeted at the Argory during WWII

Then as now the US Army had a reputation for efficiency, tidiness and order and the sign below, painted on the coach house wall, reinforces that the fact it was used for storing training equipment.

Hand painted notice about tidiness and order

Official Tank Destroyer Battalion patch compared to the one painted on the walls at the Arogory.

This illustration above left, on the end wall of the coach house, led us to research US Army insignia on the internet and within a short time we found the illustration on the right which identified the unit had been a Tank Destroyer Battalion. A little more surfing led us to quite detailed histories of these specialised battalions and in no time we discovered that it was the 654th Tank Destroyer Battalion that had been in The Argory as the history reads:

...detachments from the 654th Tank Destroyer Battalion.. proceeded to North Ireland, via the Irish Sea, port of Larne, Belfast then to Armagh where the party was met by American guides, who took the parties to Gosford Castle where they remained for several days. The 654th Tank Destroyer Battalion party, after several days at Gosford Castle, were escorted to the battalion's future home; Derrygally and The Argory, County Tyrone, in the vicinity of Trew-And-Moy Station.

Thus we have increased out knowledge of just who was 'writing on the walls' but is there more information out there? Currently we are in contact with a Tank Destroyer Battalion ex-servicemen's group in USA and, hopefully, we might contact someone who remembers his time in The Argory.

If you have any information that might help, please do either reply to this article or contact us by email.

A Response from Wesley C. Martz

Should someone at the BBC be interested, I have the names and addresses of the last four living members of the 654th TD Battalion: Barnes, Baker, Taylor, and Cabaniss. None of which remember the Argory but all remember the Derrygally, nor do they remember their Sergeant Major Fred E. Moon who served as Patton's and my dad's personal battlefield historian. These living members of the 654th don't remember the Argory because it was occupied by Patton's specially formed personal autonomous command post he named in his letter to his wife Bea his, "Light Brigade." A named arrived at between Patton and my dad, it's commander, Colonel George W. Martz, whom was hand-picked by 3-Star General Lesley J. McNair and then 2-Star General George S. Patton, Jr. straight out of the 121st's boot camp after only three weeks; explaining why George Martz, my dad, was not at time of his discharge on September 5, 1945 up to December 2006 when I received official verfication that he had not been with the 121st except perhaps during boot camp when no records were kept of this unit.

Further verifying my dad's story that he and his men he and Patton called, "The Light Brigade," received that name in honor of the memory of the United Kingdom's Crimean War "Light Brigade." Patton's "Light Brigade" suffering its final demise on about September 2, 1944 at Essoyes, France after it had become complimented with 100% replacements and ordered dismounted since President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered upon Paris' liberation that all gasoline shipments were to be stopped from going to Patton's 3rd Army and to the front lines in Roosevelt's feigning long enough to be suing for peace to keep the far left of the Democrat Party in support of him for his 1944 Presidential Election bid who had threatened to reveal to the public what the media never would picture or make an issue to the public about his paralysis in his legs. Patton was quoted by his wife where she mentioned this "Light Brigade" of the quote of its commander, my dad, that he told me about, that she said Patton remarked he had purposefully in fun reversed my dad's comments on how glad he was to find gasoline that was not quite enough for making war on the Nazis.

My dad's final order affecting Pattons' US Third Army aside from generating a flow of gasoline that it began getting a little of within the week against the politically-tactical verbal orders of President Roosevelt, was the order (of which there are two separate written reports of this event) for two teaspoons of captured Nazi cognac to be disbursed promptly at 5 o'clock to every man of the US Third Army (as a sign of protest against President Roosevelt for giving Patton's Army and the entire front line what amounted to two tablespoons of gasoline for each man to conduct the war against Nazi Germany.) ... Meaning, the men who resided at The Argory in Armaugh across the Black River from The Derrygalley were actually Patton's top-secret "Light Brigade" named in honor of and likewise suffering a fate of being thrust into an unfavorable battlefield position against the enemy just as had its namesake, the honorable United Kingdom "Light Brigade" of the Crimean War in Europe's "last battle" against state-sponsored slavery until communism and the National Alliance Against Zionism came along that sided with the Islam Caliphate against reestablishment of Israel through Zionism in Israel's written affirmation of Americanism in its founding document accepted by the United Nations as the UN's first act of international business in 1948.

The three platoons of men who stayed at the Argory were central to the Alamo-style stands of St. Lo at Hill 122, establishing Patton's Great Breakthrough at Lessay in taking Coutances and Avraches, then being ordered by Patton to lead the takeover and Alamo-style stand at Hill 314/317 at Mortain; then they fought past Orleans in leading the way to the crossing of the Seine River at Troyes where they captured Colonel Walter Joeckel the Executive Officer of Brigade 51 serving as commander of the retreating Nazi defenses when he was hiding in Troyes. Their final battle was in the wooded area on the northern east to west roadway of Essoyes called, Rue du Bacage (Road of the Woods.) Essoyes being where the southern most Brigade 51 members were who met their total annihilation with nearly out of gasoline tanks and mortar transports being ordered by my dad, US Third Army 1st S3 Colonel George W. Martz who was also the Authorizing Signatory of Operation Cobra, to train their sites in such fashion as to completely destroy every tree and every living thing in those woods of Essoyes where Nazi commander Joeckel and civilians indicated these Nazis all congregated along the northern side of Essoyes just southeast of Troyes. Troyes to Reims was as far as President Roosevelt's far left Democrat supporters would allow President Roosevelt to fight the Nazis and keep their support for his 1944 reelection bid.

Some things never change such as this as evidenced with this far left having have voted in April 2007 to end the war in Iraq that had been issued by a coalition of UN members under the UK and USA using UN Article 52. Just as Baghdad for the first time ever was being secured in Gulf War II by the UN Coalition just as they had finally liberated Baghdad with elections in 2005 ending in 2006 with the establishment of an Iraqi government in March of 2006; similiar in scope as had the Allies liberated Paris in WWII on August 25, 1944 and were immediately cutoff from moving their troops further east in France than Reims and Troyes because of the antiwar isolationists whose only answer is to allow tyrants sway over as much of the world as they can militarily take control of as long as they promise to cease their warfare and methods of conquest if we prove we will not stop them. As time goes on, some things never change!

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